EUGENE, Ore. - As Casey Lynn Wright slept in his bed, Robert Cromwell read the messages on his ex-fiances phone.
After finding what he believed were messages to other men, Cromwell grabbed an aluminum baseball bat and hit Wright in the head 4 times, killing her, according to an officer's sworn statement detailing Cromwell's confession to police.
Cromwell, 32, pleaded not guilty last week to charges of murder in the death of 26-year-old Wright. If convicted, Cromwell faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, with parole after 25 years.
Police found Wright's body after responding to a local hospital, where Cromwell was being treated after slashing his wrists in a suicide attempt.
Wright had broken off an engagement to Cromwell two weeks earlier. Family told police they didn't know why Wright was at Cromwell's house the night she died.
Her friends and family said Cromwell was jealous and controlling towards Wright and had been violent in her presence.
Family and friends gathered last weekend in her memory. In Wright's obituary, loved ones remarked, "Casey pursued her dream of becoming an accomplished equestrian. She had a passion and success that were a joy to witness."
Wright's death has left her friends looking for ways to help.
Wright was an accomplished equestrian, and her horse Duncan recently underwent surgery. Her friends launched a gofundme.com campaign to raise money to pay for the horse's surgery and care.
The fundraising campaign also aims to raise money for Womenspace, a local organization that helps the victims of domestic violence.
The campaign's goal was to raise $7,500. As of November 15, more than $13,000 had been pledged to the fund.